Google CEO: "We Are Not Immune"
We’re not likely see a repeat performance of the surprisingly strong results Google reported in its fourth quarter when the search giant next reports earnings. Certainly, that’s the impression given by Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s grim economic commentary at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference in San Francisco Tuesday. “Everyone is assuming 2009 is a tough, tough year,” said Schmidt, adding that he does not expect to see improvement until 2010. “I view the situation as pretty dire,” he said. “The combination of everything that we have seen does not appear to have a current bottom….We may be better positioned from an advertiser perspective, but ultimately…the real pain being felt by corporations worldwide will translate to our world.”
And perhaps sooner than later. Why make such grim public remarks about the economy unless to signal that your own earnings will soon suffer from it? Clearly, that’s the opinion of the market, which dragged Google (GOOG) shares down more than three percent to $315 in after-hours trading Tuesday.